Author Archives: Waka Waka Africa North East

Latest African-Caribbean Events What’s On and News in the area

Five pages of news, reviews and event listings/previews

Waka Waka February 2019

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Story of Reggae in Britain – watch it here !

Our second performance of “The Story of Reggae in Britain” on May 25th was a sell-out success in the Music Room at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall ! Our first venture outside the North East !
Check it out here:


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Bringing Communities and Heritage Together – Carlisle, 17 June, NEEACA

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” This World Here…Nomhlaba Le”

Curious Monkey Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle Arts Development Organisation, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa have been collaborating for two years on the “Two Newcastles” project, and last week presented a work on Tyneside that they have created together called ” This World Here…Nomhlaba Le”
It’s a journey to a new world full of song and discovery. When faced with a new culture, visiting a new place, what do you bring with you? What do you leave behind? Original music intertwined with traditional South African and Geordie songs, verbatim testimony and storytelling about their lives, homes and experiences in two different Newcastles by the performers, exploring community and belonging, celebrating diversity and uncovering our unconscious biases. Asking…where is home?

Created and performed by:
Sanele Mzimela, Phelelani Mzimela, Velaphi Mthimkulu, Samu Khumalo, Sam Bell, Alice Blundell and Stan Hodgson
Directed by Amy Golding
Produced by Sphiwe Xulu and Jen Dewar
Assistant Director Jonluke McKie
This World Here…Nomhlaba Le was commissioned as a flagship cultural project of Newcastles of the World supported by International Newcastle. Funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, Waka Waka Africa North East, Newcastle Municipality KZN, The Department for Arts and Culture (South Africa) The Tyne and Wear Community Foundation (UK)

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Latest News and What’s on from Waka Waka Africa North East – Spring 2018

Waka Waka What’s On + News Spring 2018


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Latest What’s On of African-Caribbean events in the North East

Waka News Early 2018


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Latest What’s On

Here’s our latest listings of African-Caribbean cultural events in the region

African-Caribbean What’s On November 17

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Unsung Sheroes & Heroes of Afrikan Heritage – Exhibition at Dynamix

Unsung Sheroes & Heroes of Afrikan Heritage: Dynamix Skatepark Gateshead, has been celebrating the lives and achievements of sheroes and heroes of Afrikan heritage, giving context and inspiration for the work of artists and activists engaged in challenging racism today.
An exhibition (lead curator Layla Gaye) will run from 16 November to 31 May at Dynamix – see
and includes large-scale murals portraits of Afrikan heritage people by artist Dreph, as well as rotating art installations, projections and educational panels bringing to light less known stories. Please share
From 13-16 November, Ghanaian-born London-based artist D’sane Neequay Dreph will be painting large scale murals. There will be an opportunity to meet the artist and for him to share his approach and practice with other artists/aspiring artists. Dreph has been painting since age 12, and his work has taken him around the world, but his work has recently been picked up and celebrated by the UK media, following a series of large scale murals he has painted around London, depicting women of Afrikan/Afro-Carribean heritage who are making significant contributions to their communities.
There are many opportunities for students and other young people to get involved with the exhibition, and with the project as a whole, including various workshops. Check out via the website. Entrance to exhibition and related events is free.
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African-Caribbean What’s On

African-Caribbean What’s On

Freedom City

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You may know the artists, but do you know the story behind them? A great new production called The Story of Reggae is premiered at Sage Gateshead on 5th December.

With an evening of spoken word, music and film, renowned dub reggae master Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell will take the audience on an immersive journey through the first three decades of Reggae in Britain, from the 1950’s – 1980’s.

Opening at 8pm on the 5th December in Sage 2, this vibrant story-telling performance will include live musical performances by Dennis Bovell and his band and recorded spoken word by ‘Dub Poet’ Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson.


Presented by Waka Waka Africa North East and with support from Arts Council England, The Story of Reggae will be an unmissable event for the calendar and a rare opportunity to hear the sounds and national history of this beloved music genre from the mouths of those who helped make it great.

“We are so excited to be bringing our first showing of Story of Reggae to the North East of England for everyone to enjoy. Our main message throughout the show is that reggae deserves its rightful place in the music hall of fame and in history as the foundation of different musical genres, crossovers and hits. We want to chart its movement in Britain and its engulfing of different cultures and people – for example the rock and reggae genres fuelling each other in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The Story of Reggae will depict all of this chronologically with key events and figures in a vibrant performance of live music, various interviews and film – commentated by reggae authority, historian and legend Dennis Bovell.” – Maurice Dezou, founder and producer of The Story of Reggae and co-founder of Waka Waka Africa North East.

The Story of Reggae features live interviews with Linton Kwesi Johnson, Don Letts, Benjamin Zephaniah, Janet Kay, Suggs (Madness), Ranking Rodger (The Beat), Carol Thompson, Karen Wheeler and Jazzy B.

The show will also include the music of Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Decker, Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Janet Kay, Toots and the Maytals, Sister Nancy, Assad, Steel Pulse, Althea and Donna, Millie Small, Prince Buster, the Skatalites, Ken Booth, UB40, The Specials, Matumbe, Black Slate and more.

Tickets are £13 and are available from the Sage Gateshead website or from the ticket office on 0191 443 4661.

Dennis Bovell (otherwise known as Blackbeard) is one of the co-founders for The Story of Reggae and is a renowned Reggae guitarist, solo artist and producer from Barbados. Bovell was one of the key figures on the London Reggae scene in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Bovell co-founded the band, Matumbi, in the 1970’s, one of England’s first self contained Reggae bands. Bovell has also released several albums and solo dub experiments and participated in the BBC’s Reggae Britannia season in 2011. A more extensive bio and track listing can be found here:
 Maurice Dezou is the co-founder and producer for The Story of Reggae and co-founder of Waka Waka Africa North East.. Originally from the Ivory Coast, Dezou has many years experience of film and music production both locally and internationally, and has contributed to recordings by various artists such as Boy George and Dennis Bovell.
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